Council welcomes visitors from Northern Ireland
Posted on 1 Nov 2017
North Ayrshire Council has played host to a group of Northern Irish Council officials and elected members aiming to see how the area is bringing democracy to a grassroots level.
Delegates from Mid and East Antrim Borough Council have been taking in the best North Ayrshire has to offer during their two-day visit.
The Northern Irish Council representatives undertook their first fact-finding mission to the area back in 2014 to see how the Community Planning Partnership (CPP) was being developed.
Now that the CPP has made Community Planning more accessible to local communities through Locality Partnerships, the group has returned for a second visit.
The 10-strong team from North Ireland include Councillors Brian Collins, Billy Ashe and Ruth Wilson along with a number of Community Planning Committee representatives.
The visit got under way on Monday morning (October 31) when the delegation joined a conference at Saltcoats Town Hall, organised by the Council and the Improvement Service.
The conference – called Building Stronger Communities through Partnership and Place – gave those attending the chance to hear about locality planning development in North Ayrshire and the journey from engagement to partnership.
Among the innovations being discussed was Charrettes and Participatory Budgeting and how these have been successful in allowing members of the public have a real say in priorities in their communities.
During their visit, the guests from Northern Ireland also visited the Townhouse and Portal in Irvine, Irvine harbourside and Maritime Museum.
North Ayrshire Council Leader Joe Cullinane, the Chair of the North Ayrshire Community Planning Partnership, said: “We are delighted to welcome our guests from Northern Ireland and hope that they found their visit to North Ayrshire welcoming and informative.
“We share a lot of similar challenges so it’s a good opportunity to exchange our experiences and share some of the successes that our Community Planning approach has enjoyed over the past few years.”